What My Veteran Family Has Taught Me About Leadership.
Leadership is a topic that seems to come up a lot in my life. I am the daughter of two Army Veterans as well as the sister of another Army Veteran, and somehow through my relationship with these amazing individuals, I’ve managed to get them to teach me a lot about leadership. I’m also lucky enough to spend a great deal of time in a gym with some of the strongest communicators and leaders I have ever met. I got to spend some time with my dad this weekend and we talked a lot about leadership. He told me about a common concept in the Army, used to help soldiers advance in their professional development.
Be. Know. Do.
Those seem like three simple, straightforward words. It seems almost elementary to me that these words would even be used as a leadership paradigm, but I was immediately hit in the gut by the power of their meaning. They are incredibly potent words, and I think they can translate to the civilian world effortlessly. I think this concept is perfectly suited to apply to our CrossFit gym and I see it in our athletes and coaches every day.
The Army asks their soldiers to believe in themselves, their mission, their unit and the United States Army. They ask that you select a role model, and follow his or her example. Find the best in others, and emulate their attributes. They also ask that one should display physical and moral courage, take the initiative and make things happen. Show commitment; take charge at every opportunity. The concept of “BEING” goes on to request that an individual be a coach, leader, mentor, and trainer as well as be receptive of constructive criticism themselves.
I don’t know what you think, but this sounds just like OUR gym. I look at you guys giving it your all during a WOD, and I feel in my very core that you’ve bought into what we do at Loud City. There is commitment and respect; there are athletes taking charge of helping other athletes learn and perfect movements. There is a full, humble heart in our athletes when critiques are shared. There are positive attitudes that cannot be stifled and spirits that thrive on the organized chaos of the camaraderie in our gym.
This is where I get to brag on the team of individuals that volunteer their time to make us all better. Your coaches are the absolute BEST at what they do. Our coaching staff takes it upon themselves to learn, read, and educate themselves on the methods and lifestyle that is CrossFit. They each have a specific skill set and personality trait that makes them the perfect piece of the puzzle that is our training staff. We have a collaborative team dynamic, and there are always questions and ideas flying around to help us improve our teaching methods which, in turn, improves your experience here in the gym. They know the history of CrossFit, and they stay abreast of current training methods and events. Our coaches are experts at what they do and how they communicate it.
One of the things that makes Loud City so special is the leadership from the coaches and the athletes. We are a community through thick and thin. We step up when someone is in need, and are there to embrace anyone that walks through our bay door as if they were family. I’m continually blown away by the compassion, empathy, and support I see on a regular basis from our CrossFit family. The support of our athletes is not the only thing that I consider great about what we DO.
The encouragement is very real, and optimism is a great force multiplier. Our gym leads by example. There isn’t a person at Loud City that I can’t find a long list of modifiers of praise for. We are a group of people that take accountability seriously, but also look for the bright spots in life. You guys listen, observe, learn, and ALWAYS ask questions. You are always volunteering inside and outside of the gym to help athletes and other organizations. This gym is redefining excellence and pushing leadership to greatness every day.
We are a community through thick and thin. We step up when someone is in need, and are there to embrace anyone that walks through our bay door as if they were family.
When you come to Loud City, it is my sincere hope that it is the best hour of your day. When you hear the clock beep down to the beginning of the WOD, it is a countdown to a workout, yes. But, it’s also your time to work on you. It is your time to add more value to your day and your life. We are all leaders and we all provide leadership at the gym. Leadership ultimately does not come from a position of power, it comes from the ability to connect, be adaptive, and trust. As John Maxwell said, the measure of leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less. I am so lucky that I get to witness the very best in life and leadership through our gym and all of you.